After a suggestion in the comments, I’ve decided to do a series of Top 5′s tips on the different aspects of studying overseas. Thanks for the comments – they’re all pretty helpful. This is a list of my top 5 pre-departure tips. By following these tips, one can easily stay on top of the often nerve-racking organisational things to do before leacing.
- Plan Ahead: One of the most important ways of staying organised is careful forward planning. Parts of the application process can take months, and there are often restrictions on how far through your degree you can be to be accepted into an exchange program. The best way to go would to get involved in researching universities and completing applications as soon as possible, leaving as much time for everything else as you can.
- Talk to people: Talking to as many people as possible about your exchange can remove much of the uncertainty about traveling to and living at a new place. Every that you can think of, including friends, family, lecturers and student support at university, has the possibility of contributing valuable information.
- Finance: Insuring a reliable source of money is essential when traveling overseas, especially for the first few days. Most people split their money across various types, including travelers cheques, cash, travel specific debit-cards and credit cards. Don’t rely on being able to send bank drafts initially, because it can take weeks for an account to be set up (especially at the beginning of semester).
- Dedication: While it may seem like a lot of effort, and troubles may sometime make you feel like giving up, persistence and dedication will lead to an experience of a life time. From what I’ve experienced, the effort involved initially is completely worth it.
- Find others: There will most likely be other students from your area heading for the same university. By keeping in touch with them, you can share tips and advice.Having friends on arrival makes the first few days in your new city a lot easier!